Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), seeking to discredit Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, cited her 2001 “wise Latina” speech, and contrasted the view that ethnicity and sex influence judging with that of Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who “believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, during her confirmation hearing before the committee Tuesday. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) is at left.
“So I would just say to you, I believe in Judge Cedarbaum’s formulation,” Sessions told Sotomayor.
“My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,” Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions’ apparent surprise. “We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts.”
“I don’t believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and her personal predilections have no effect on her approach to judging,” she told Washington Wire. “We’d both like to see more women on the courts,” she added.
Cedarbaum, a pioneering woman lawyer who graduated from Columbia Law School in 1953, goes way back with both participants in the colloquy. Cedarbaum mentored Sotomayor after she joined the federal district court in Manhattan in 1992, and they have been close friends ever since.
In 1986, Cedarbaum and Sessions were both nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan, and were members of the same orientation class for future judges. Their paths then diverged, however. Cedarbaum was confirmed, but Sessions nomination floundered over a controversy surrounding comments he made involving the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oh Snap, Sessions!
From the Washington Wire: